Apache Week
Issue 129, 11thSeptember1998:

Copyright 2020 Red Hat, Inc

In this issue

Apache Status

Apache Site: www.apache.org
Release: 1.3.1 (Released 22nd July 1998) (local download sites)
Beta: None

Apache 1.3.1 is the current stable release. Users of Apache 1.2.6 and earlier should look at upgrading to this version, which provides additional features and has been subject to extensive testing.

The bugs listed below now include a link to the entry in the Apache bug database where the problem is being tracked. These entries are called "PR"s (Problem Reports). Some bugs do not correspond to problem reports if they are found by developers.

These bugs have been found in 1.3.1 and will be fixed in the next version.

Because of the major differences between Windows and Unix, these are separated into bugs which affect Windows systems only, and other bugs (which may affect Windows as well). Unix users can ignore the bugs listed in the Windows section.

Windows-specific Bugs

  • When Apache processes a path which does not contain a slash, it gives an assertion error: "s >= szFile && "this is a known bug"". This can happen with directives such as <Directory *>, <Files .htaccess> or Alias /stuff d:. PR#2915, PR#2953.
  • The long-standing problem that Apache is limited to a maximum of 64 threads (due to a hard limit in the Windows API) has been removed.

Other Bugs

  • The Expires directive was not adding the expires header to responses which did not come from a disk file.
  • Apache would not compile if the -DDEBUG compile flag was given, for extra debugging information. PR#2945.
  • Apache would not compile on OS/2 if DEBUG_INCLUDE_CMD define was set. PR#2917.
  • Various Apache API log functions would crash if a module gives an error message containing a % character. PR#2941.
  • Compilation may fail on Digital Unix 3.2 because of the unknown -msym option (valid on 4.x only). PR#2969.
  • Various additional libraries are required for SCO 5. In addition users of SCO 5.0.4 can remove USE_FCNTL_SERIALIZED_ACCEPT for better performance, but this cannot be removed generally since it is still required by SCO 5.0.0 and 5.0.2. PR#2533.

Patches for bugs in Apache 1.3.1 will be made available in the apply_to_1.3.1 subdirectory of the patches directory on the Apache site. Some new features and other unofficial patches are available in the 1.3 patches directory. For details of all previously reported bugs, see the Apache bug database and known bugs pages. Many common configuration questions are answered in the Apache FAQ.

Include directive to be useable inside containers

The Include directive in Apache includes the contents of another file into the configuration file being read. This allows configuration information to be split across multiple files with arbitrary names. However in the current version of Apache, this directive cannot be used within <Directory> or <Location> containers. From the next release, it will be allowed inside those containers. See also PR#2727.

New API function for MD5s of binary data

A new function will be available in 1.3.2 to allow modules to get an MD5 hash of binary data. The current function, ap_md5 creates an MD5 of a null-terminated string. This will not be altered, however a new function called ap_md5_binary can be used to get an MD5 of arbitrary data. Modules can check for the availability of this function at compile time by checking that MODULE_MAGIC_NUMBER_MAJOR is 19980906 or greater.

More information about errors

The ERROR_NOTES environment various contains a textual explanation of most errors found while processing a request, so that it can be logged or displayed by SSI or CGI error documents. Recently errors from CGI scripts were passed into the ERROR_NOTES value. Also the next release of Apache will set ERROR_NOTES to "File does not exist" if the default handler cannot find the file.

Apache use still increasing faster than other servers

Apache's share of internet servers rose again last month, compared to falls for both Microsoft and Netscape servers. The September Netcraft Server Survey shows that standard Apache is used on 51.85% of servers surveyed, up 1.50 on the previous month. Meanwhile Microsoft is used on 22.32% of servers, down by 0.37, and Netscape servers are down 0.39 to 7.83%. The final graph shows clearly how Apache and other server's use has varied over the past two years.

When servers which are known to be based on Apache code are added, the total use of Apache goes up to 56.30%. Total use of servers identifiable as running on NT systems is at 24.64%, down slighly on the previous month.

ApacheCon '98 Agenda Now Available

The agenda for the upcoming Apache Conference is now available, with details of most of the sessions. This is the first ever conference dedicated to the Apache web server, and is being run by the Apache Group, with organisation and sponsorship by various commercial companies. It is aimed at both Apache developers and Apache users.

For more information, see www.apachecon.com.

And finally... Apache to serve Clinton report to the World

On a topical note, the report into the US President will be published on Thomas, the site for the House of Congress's legislative information. Thomas runs on Apache, but the amount of interest in the report may swamp both the bandwidth and the server capability. The report will also be mirrored to http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/icreport (running Netscape Commerce) and http://www.house.gov/icreport (which has not been responding recently).